Hardware tech companies from Bristol and Bath make up over a third of the top 25 most disruptive startups in the region.

The annual index, compiled by ADLIB, Foot Anstey and Tällt, shows the region as a global innovation hub. Judges selected the small and medium-sized companies based on a range of factors, from the make-up of their founding team and investors to their technology and ambition.

Top of the list was Micrima, which has developed a new detector for breast cancer using millimetre wave wireless technology.

Five of the companies are based at the University Enterprise Zone at UWE Bristol, with drone maker DroneX and thin display maker Folium Optics at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory‘s Hardware Incubator, Bunk and Tickitto AI at the Launch Space Incubator and driverless car tech firm Fusion Processing at Future Space, UWE Bristol’s innovation centre.

Other disrupt companies in Bristol include 5G wireless specialists Blu Wireless Technology, new farming tech company LettusGrow and underwater drone sensor maker Rovco.

Three companies from Bristol Robotics Laboratory’s Hardware Incubator (Open BionicsReach Robotics and Perceptual Robotics) already experienced success in making the Top 10 of the 2017 annual index, underlining the importance of specialist high-tech and robotics business incubation support. Two of them, Reach Robotics and Open Bionics, also appeared in the prestigious Forbes 30 under 30 Europe List 2018.

“It is hugely encouraging to see so many of the innovative young businesses based at the University Enterprise Zone represented in this list, making up a quarter of all companies included,” said David Lennard, Head of Business and Operations at Bristol Robotics Laboratory. “The 70-plus companies based at UWE Bristol’s Enterprise Zone are generating millions of pounds in funding, creating high-value jobs and signing deals with globally-recognised organisations.

“The enterprise ecosystem of business incubators, grow-on space and SME support services created at the University is producing real results, and the companies supported are having a strong impact in their respective industries.”